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Queens murder rate inches up as citywide homicide rate falls

A police officer stands guard outside the home a fatal shooting occurred in April 2012.
TimesLedger Newspapers

With one more day’s worth of crime statistics yet to be counted and 2012’s official total tallied, the city was on track to register its lowest murder rate in decades, but by Dec. 30 Queens had already recorded one more murder than it had in 2011.

By Dec. 30 there had been 418 murders in the city, which is down from 515 in 2011 and the lowest since the city started keeping records back in 1963.

Across Queens’ 16 police precincts, however, there were 82 murders in 2011 and by Dec. 30 2012 there were already 83 throughout the borough, police said.

The Police Department counts each week’s crime figures beginning on Mondays, so since the 30th fell on a Sunday, the year’s numbers will not be available until at least next week, a police spokeswoman said.

The NYPD has not yet included approximately 310 citywide crimes from Feb. 29 to its 2012 numbers so that an accurate comparison can be made between 2011 and 2012 each week.

Leap Day’s crime numbers will be added to 2012’s total at the end of the year.

The 113th Precinct continued to be the borough’s most deadly, though there was the possibility it might show a slight decline by year’s end.

Covering the neighborhoods of South Jamaica, St. Albans, Baisley Park and part of Springfield Gardens, the precinct had registered 16 murders by the 30th, compared to 17 in 2011.

The neighboring 103rd Precinct — covering downtown Jamaica and Hollis — had the second highest number of murders both years, with 10 so far for 2012 compared to 11 the previous year.

The 105th Precinct — stretching along the Queens-Nassau County border from Queens Village to Rosedale — had an increase from five murders in 2011 to eight by Dec. 30.

For both years the six precincts covering southeast Queens and the Rockaway Peninsula accounted for more than half the murders throughout the borough.

About half the borough’s precincts saw a decline in their numbers, with the other half showing increases.

Corona and Elmhurst’s 110th Precinct showed the largest increase, jumping from just two homicides in 2011 to eight by the 30th.

City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), whose district includes about half of the 110th, said he could recall two murders in LeFrak City earlier this year that caused concern in the community.

“One thing I will say is that we have a new commanding officer in the 110th and I think very highly of him,” he said. “We’ve seen an uptick in the number of murders and I’m confident the new commanding officer will be able to track this down.”

Dromm said he put $150,000 in the budget for security cameras in the 110th and 115th precincts, and he was speaking with Deputy Inspector Ronald Leyson about the best place to install them.

The 109th Precinct, which covers downtown Flushing, College Point and Whitestone, dropped from eight murders in 2011 to four by the 30th for the borough’s largest decrease.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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